Trauma can happen in childhood or adulthood, and often we don’t recognize how harmful these messages are when internalized. Many of us have tapes that play constantly in our minds that are riddled with these unhelpful and untrue beliefs.
EMDR and other body-centered approaches help heal these experiences directly and powerfully. In an EMDR session, a traumatic experience or belief is processed using bilateral stimulation to the body (specifically you would either hold little buzzers, one in each hand or I would tap gently on your knees), which engages both hemispheres of the brain.
The result of this treatment is that the emotional charge associated with the trauma decreases, and is replaced by a more rational, calm, adult view of the experience. For example, a woman who experienced childhood sexual abuse might go from feeling panic and shame when thinking about having sex, and having the belief “I’m damaged,” to having the belief instead that, “I’m fine, it was my abuser who was damaged” and being able to have a healthy sexual relationship.